Abe of­fers $1 bil­lion in ru­ral aid to Myan­mar ‘s Suu Kyi

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - WORLD REPORT -

JA­PAN’S Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe yes­ter­day pledge up to 117 bil­lion yen ($ 1.03 bil­lion) of de­vel­op­ment aid to Myan­mar in a meet­ing in Manila with gov­ern­ment leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The pack­age of low-in­ter­est loans will be used to fund projects in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture and small com­pany fi­nanc­ing meant to help im­prove ru­ral in­comes, Ja­pan’s Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs said in a re­lease.

The aid pledge comes as Myan­mar comes un­der in­tense crit­i­cism from hu­man rights groups, the United Na­tions (UN) and other coun­tries for a counter-in­sur­gency oper- ation that has sparked an ex­o­dus of more than 600,000 Ro­hingya Mus­lims to Bangladesh since Au­gust.

Abe and Suu Kyi are in the Philip­pines for an As­so­ci­a­tion of South East Asian Na­tions con­fer­ence in­clud­ing other re­gional lead­ers.

While there, Suu Kyi, whose ad­min­is­tra­tion has no con­trol over the se­cu­rity forces un­der a con­sti­tu­tion drafted dur­ing mil­i­tary rule, dis­cussed the Ro­hingya cri­sis with UN Sec­re­tary­Gen­eral Antonio Guter­res.

China and the United States (U.S.) also com­pete for in­flu­ence in Myan­mar.

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